A word from the author #8 (and the Instagram hiccup)


Something odd and unexpected and a little bit mean happened over the past week – We were temporarily barred from liking photos on Instagram.

What I didn’t know, and what is bizarrely hard to find out from Instagram themselves, is what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour to conducts ones self when using Instagram.  I’ve read several articles on how to increase your web presence, and all the ones related to Instagram say the same top 3 things; 1. like photos, 2. comment on photos. 3. follow others.

Now I had been cautious to try and keep the follow:followers ratio in (what I see as) a moderate window.  I hadn’t really commented on many photos either.  What I was doing was liking a lot of photos.  Was I doing this to garner followers? Yes, as this what the tips had suggested.  Was I liking every single photo? No, Jeff wouldn’t allow it.

Friday evening I wasn’t doing much and had little energy for much else and liking some photos.  It’s quite a soothing past time as I am looking at pictures Jeff would like… dogs, elephants, anything with red in it.  It is also a distraction that my head had been enjoying over the past few weeks.

Suddenly a pop-up appeared on my phone say I was temporarily barred from this function with no explanation as to why or how long this temporariness was to last.

Through some digging I found that if you like more than 350 in one hour you have breached their regulations and you are temporarily barred from using that ‘function’.  I can completely understand the need to control something as big as Instagram and it’s sensible they have measures in place to control the world of bots and spammer.  I still don’t know if 350 is a lot? I have a fast phone and have always played video games so I also have fast fingers – but I still looked at each photo with time for my mind to process whether Jeff would like that particular photo.  There may have been an element of OCD to all this, but so what? It was promoting Jeff and taking my head away from the real world and who was I hurting?

So there I was, Friday night, and Instagram had just cranked up the notch on my anxiety lever.  An outlet of self-soothing had been snatched away from me and I was left feeling like I had done something bad and there was nothing I could do about it and brought my Jeffrey enterprise to what seemed like a screeching halt.

Any further information I could find was not from the horses mouth but many said a ban could last anything between hours to a number of weeks. So I waited.  I would say I twiddled my thumbs but I’m sure I found something else to do.  It didn’t stop the niggle this had caused me.

24 hours later and I was ‘allowed’ to like photos again.  I was careful this time and I counted.  I was aiming for around 100 before I thought I should get some sleep, and I suddenly, BAM – the temporary barred message appeared again.

I was mortified and my head went into one of its annoying spins (even more annoying given what this was over).  I went back and counted all I had just likes, 105 was the total.  A tad short of the 350 per hour that apparently you were allowed.

I have debated in my head or not whether it is ‘right’ to like photos to gather more followers and two thoughts struck me. 1. I wasn’t liking anything I/we didn’t like, and 2. the two posts over the weekend where I liked very few photos, Jeff’s followers still went up by around 40.  So I hope the pictures speak for themselves.

It just seems… I don’t know, a bit counter-intuitive to what Instagram is.  You can like something, but not too much.  And being mindful of such things really takes some of the fun out of it.

I don’t know why things like this affect me the way they do. There’s also something equally understandable but slightly disconcerting that such a sizeable entity as Instagram has no one you can reach out and contact… then again it’s a free service so why should they front a call centre for people like me.

Normal service resumed Sunday night and we are back to liking the nice photos – just not as many as before.  Still, seems a bit mean that I might now go past a photo of a dog and have to make decision whether it gets a like or not.  It’s a cute dog, they should all get likes!

So Instagram, Jeff has something for you… ANGRY-TRUNK!


Thanks for reading,

W.G. Clark

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